Solved Display Cluster Chain Of Files On Floppy disk

September 2, 2013 at 02:06:52
Specs: Windows Vista, 1.6 gb 4gb
Hi,

Does anyone know of a program which when run (on Vista) will analyze a floppy disk and show each file on it together with a list of all the clusters which that file occupies. That's all I want it to do. Alternatively, does anyone have anything in VBS/ Javascript which can do this? The Disk sector editors I've checked out only give the starting cluster.

Thank you


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✔ Best Answer
September 3, 2013 at 18:34:22
Hello again. I would be interested in obtaining a copy of "flopsee", maybe I can make it work on 1.4m floppies (I googled for "flopsee" and could not find it.).
I wrote a pre-ntfs program that scans a drive sector by sector for a given string, so in essence it reads the entire data-portion of the disk, as long as the fat tables are intact. It ignores directory-structure entirely. But I reckon current apps can do the same thing more easily.


#1
September 2, 2013 at 18:30:22
I never learned how fragmented clusters are chained, so I can't answer that directly (although I would like to know!) But couldn't you "defrag" the floppy? Then the clusters would be contiguous? (Although I figure it's nothing like that... probably the floppy is damaged or something...)

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#2
September 2, 2013 at 20:12:03
This should explain cluster chaining.

http://computer-forensics.sans.org/...

The starting cluster points to the first entry in the chain and subsequent entries point to the next entry till it comes to an EOF marker. The position of the entry in the FAT is linked to the cluster on the disk.

Incidentally this method of chaining clusters was first designed by IBM in the 1970s when a 5Mb hard disk was a huge amount or storage. Microsoft and others have taken the basic idea and adapted it for ever bigger and bigger disks.

Stuart


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#3
September 2, 2013 at 20:50:09
Thanks Stuart. That reminded me of "crossed-link" errors I've encountered usually due to hardware shut-downs or software meltdowns. I've forgotten more than I've ever known, so now I'm in serious info deficit. :-(

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#4
September 3, 2013 at 08:37:28
I should have explained that I was given a load of old floppies and asked to try and get the data off them. Unfortunately, many have damaged sectors/ clusters and the Disk Editors I've tried so far won't read them. I say "won't" because if Windows can't read the floppy, the software "hides" behind that and gives up. I know that there are progs out there which can read damaged floppies at sector level though obviously not in every instance - it depends on the damage and where it occurs.

I know the principle behind cluster chaining but need a prog to tell me what the clusters are for each file. I have a DOS prog called Flopsee but it only addresses 720kb floppies whereas the ones I have been given are all 1.4MB - just my luck that there never was a 1.4mb version of Flopsee!

Thank you anyway for your interest


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#5
September 3, 2013 at 08:44:40
Does chkdsk no longer work on floppies?

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#6
September 3, 2013 at 10:09:04
I've tried Chkdsk. It can be run on floppies but it doesn't give you the cluster chain. I've just run it on a floppy which I know has 5 inaccessible files on it. None of them can be opened yet Chkdsk tells me everything is hunky-dory! How about that! A disk editor tells me they are text files and I can see that from the directory entries which have a .txt extension but Notepad can't open them. Windows tells me via an error message that the floppy is unnrecognised and needs to be formatted which is the worst thing I could do.


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#7
September 3, 2013 at 10:37:40
Did you run chkdsk with the /R option?

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#8
September 3, 2013 at 18:34:22
✔ Best Answer
Hello again. I would be interested in obtaining a copy of "flopsee", maybe I can make it work on 1.4m floppies (I googled for "flopsee" and could not find it.).
I wrote a pre-ntfs program that scans a drive sector by sector for a given string, so in essence it reads the entire data-portion of the disk, as long as the fat tables are intact. It ignores directory-structure entirely. But I reckon current apps can do the same thing more easily.

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#9
September 5, 2013 at 08:37:20
Hi Razor,

No I didn't use the /R option as that would have been tantamount to using /F as I want to recover the data without fixing the bad sectors. My past experience of Chkdsk has not been a happy one so I prefer to avoid taking that option.

Thank you for your interest


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#10
September 17, 2013 at 22:45:31
My appreciation to nbrane for providing me with a solution to to the cluster chaining.problem I had. Just shows good old DOS still lives on!

Many grateful thanks!

PS Apologies but the "best answer" tag seems to have gone a bit loopy as it has flagged up everyone and try as I can I can't that to leave it only tagging your solution

message edited by JuniperGreen


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#11
August 16, 2015 at 09:39:10
@Nbrane
Remember at one time you very kindly tried to see if you could modify prog called "Flopsee" to produce a list of clusters. Flopsee was specifically for 720 floppies whereas I was working with 1.4s? Unfortunately despite your endeavours this proved not to be possible.

I have just stumbled across a web page which deals with a Cluster Display Prog which does exactly what I was looking for but although, sadly, there is no download for the program nevertheless the source code in assembler is provided.

I know this thread is closed but given the keen interest you took in my original problem (remember the versions of "Chain"?) just thought I'd bring this to your attention. I'm still running Vista but it doesn't say which version of windows this is targeted at. Not even sure if it makes any difference. I thought I saw something about Windows 2000 but having looked again am unable to find any reference to that version.

See you are still keeping to the fore with resolving everyones problems!

Kind regards

Juniper


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